Visa and Fandango Mobilize Buying Movie Tickets

Popular app gets digital wallet feature

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Visa and Fandango today are extending their three-year digital partnership with a feature called Tixpress in the latter company's mobile app. In a promotion running through August, Visa Signature cardholders have the exclusive chance to sign up to get location-based movie listings and a quick-pay option via Fandango's popular smartphone app.

If consumers opt in for the GPS-enabled Tixpress, they'll see a virtual marquee with movies that are showing nearby. With a couple of taps, they can view showtimes and purchase tickets if they've synced up Fandango app with their Visa account. They can then display the barcode to theater staff to get into the movie.

Nick Talwar, head of consumer credit, Visa North America, said the development will enhance his brand's ability to reach an affluent demographic. Seventy-five percent of Visa Signature cardholders say that movies are their most important fun thing to do, per the exec. And Fandango claims its mobile user base is rife with discretionary income.

"We are are convinced the way to [attract affluenct consumers] is through the customer experience," Talwar told Adweek. "We've done a lot of research, particularly with affluent consumers in the U.S. And among the leisure activities they engage in, movies is No. 1."

While active-user numbers aren't available, Fandango's smartphone app has been downloaded a staggering 32 million times. Similar to other digital wallet initiatives, the Fandango-Visa marriage has recently included customer-loyalty plays. For instance, Visa Signature users have been able to get $5 off $25 Fandango gift cards while also getting pitched a buy-one-get-one-free offer on Friday nights.

"Having a multi-year relationship with Visa speaks to what our brand offers," said Scott Schiller, evp of digital ad sales for NBCUniversal, Fandango's parent company. "Advertisers trust our platform to reach an affluent audience."

Fandango reps didn't rule out adding other credit card brands to its app down the road.

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.